The Facts About Healthy Relationships
by PeggySue Wells
Saturday, my teen groused around the house. When my efforts to cheer her didn’t work, certainly that indicated she would rather spend Saturday with anyone but me.
Feeling rejected, I felt tempted to give the silent treatment or unload my hurt with a barbed jab. “Are you going to clean your bedroom?”
“If possible, so far as depends on you, live peaceably with all,” Paul instructed (Romans 12:18 ESV). Yet families, co-workers, and fellow inhabitants of planet Earth have become practiced at the 5 Rs.
- Something happens, is said, done, not said, or not done that results in me feeling rejected.
- Resentful about feeling rejected, I make up a story about why my teen is moody.
- Feeling resentful, I resist relationship with the silent treatment.
- Revenge. My comment about her bedroom would hurt her in the same way I feel she hurt me.
- Repeat. She didn’t engage with me, so I disengage from her, so she distances from my barbs, and the pattern continues.
The moment I feel rejected is opportunity to enter the painful cycle of the 5 Rs or choose grace, joy, and health. The life-giving, life-changing solution comes by sticking to the facts.
Fact: my teen was moody and didn’t respond to actions to cheer her. If I stick to these facts, our relationship continues whole and drama-free.
We are experts at creating stories in our mind about what facts mean. That story becomes our reality, and we act based on the made-up story as if it were truth.
To nurture healthy relationships
- stick to the facts
- be generous
- don’t take ourselves or others too seriously
Most things people say or do, don’t say, don’t do, rarely has anything to do with us. We’re all doing our best to live together as well as possible.
PeggySue Wells parasails, skydives, snorkels, scuba dives, and has taken (but not passed) pilot training. Solo mom of seven and founder of SingleMomCircle.com, she is the bestselling author of 30 books including The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make, Homeless for the Holidays, and Chasing Sunrise. Connect with her at PeggySueWells.com